For me, I have to agree with trumpethack: I used to use way too much pressure and used to really ram the mouthpiece onto my lips with my pinky finger. I did this to such a terrible extent that I broke my finger, and that kind of told me that I needed to change the way I played - I still have my finger inside the pinky ring, but I no longer use it to apply pressure. Joe N, I would suggest, as many others have that there are no simple "tricks" to reduce pressure - just keep trying to pull the trumpet away from your chops, playing lots of soft pedal tones with minimal pressure, until you are comfortable to do the same for higher notes. Good luck! Chris.